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Posted on March 21, 2014 | 1:46 p.m.

2 Arrested, 5 Cited in Local Shoulder Tap Operation

Source: Kelly Hoover for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff’s deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department cited five individuals and arrested two others in the Isla Vista and Goleta areas last Saturday as part of a statewide Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.

Alcoholic Beverage Control agents and more than 100 law enforcement agencies from across California participated in the effort to reduce youth access to alcohol. In all, the operation resulted in 544 citations and arrests.

During the Shoulder Tap Operation, minors under the age of 21, under the direct supervision of a peace officer, stood outside a local convenience store or liquor store and asked patrons to buy them alcohol. The minors made it clear that they were underage and could not purchase the alcohol themselves. If the adult agreed to purchase the alcohol, then law enforcement would either cite or arrest the individual(s) for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department recently received a $50,000 grant from ABC to battle alcohol related crime in the Isla Vista and Goleta areas, which tend to have a higher percentage of these types of incidents. The grant funding will be used to conduct future operations targeting underage drinkers and those that provide minors with alcohol. It will also be utilized to educate both on-sale and off-sale establishments with the importance of operating within the restrictions of their ABC licenses.

The ABC’s Grant Assistance Program was established in 1995 and during that time has distributed more than $20 million to law enforcement in California to combat alcohol-related crimes.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information specialist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

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